Pangkor by daylight

Wed 30 Mar 2011 10:52
Last night P Rimau 5:14.811N 100:16.703E
Tonight, Pangkor Marina Island 4:12.681N 100:36.065E
30th March
Trying to keep a little momentun, now, but stopping to chat to other sailors is always bad: everyone is full of gloom about the weather, and I seem to be the only boat this week that hasn't run into some really nasty stuff. Sorry to have left Penang so quickly, it is a great place to just wander round, soaking up the atmosphere of the different Quarters, and this time I visited Fort Cornwallis: where the Brits made their mark, courtest of one Francis Light: the bastard son of a Suffolk Squire and one of his village girls, and a Museum: a restored mansion, showing how the prosperous Perankans (Straits Chinese) lived a century ago. And their glasswear came from: Stourbridge! a huge collection, in art deco style.Yes, Wordsley really was part of the Jewel of the Orient.
Very pleased to be out of the rock and roll marina however: it is so convienient for the 'Old Town', but so uncomfortable and dirty. Seems that the four shot dead sailors put in here at Christmas: all the staff remember them because their boat got damaged, and they created a big stink, threatening to sue all and sundry.
My clever stop strategy worked very well last night, maybe I should advise Lewis Hamilton! I got clear of Penang Island and the second road bridge works in daylight, and spent the evening in a very peaceful anchorage where I had supper and three hours sleep. My mobile woke me at midnight, and despite an ominous bank of cloud, we set off south. Generally the wind and waves were ok and we motored and motorsailed at 4kts which was the plan. 10 to 15 min cat naps with the kitchen timer, depending on the density of fishing boats, and it was dawn in no time. The weather cleared up and the wind dropped and later came in from the north, we reached Pangkor Island at 16.30: an hour ahead of time.As mentioned above three other arrivals today, all with tales to tell. Hope my luck holds. I came in here last year in the dead of night: daylight is certainly preferable, and the marina building work is slowly progressing, but still no showers
The Pangkor Island trawler fleet was steaming out as I came in: an impressive sight. I counted more that 40, each is about 45/50 feet long. They are of identical design, wooden, and all painted rather similar colours: blue and green predominantly. There is a command pod, like an prison observation tower, perched on top of everything. I reckon that there is a crew of eight or nine. Each has some sort of decoration at the bow, with bright paintwork. What struck me is how are these things organised? There has to be someone in charge?, stop them all trying to fish in the best spot? It also struck me that Trawler Captains must be just about as herdable as Surgeons. And can anybody have a go? I suspect not. So many social structures we know nothing about. I wave gaily at the pods, but never an acknowledgement in return: whatever, you keep well clear of these things after dark!
Tomorrows very provisional plan is to explore the Sembilan Islands, ten miles south of here, and leave from there for the Port Klang area in the early hours of whatever day it will be by then! May just get a weather forecast first, though! My friends Peter and Cathy are still in Langkawi: do they have an engine? do they actually have sails under their nice sail covers?!